Things That Matter

Six Children Have Been Orphaned After A Couple Died In A Car Accident While Trying To Flee ICE Officers

It’s been almost a week since the Garcia children lost their mom and dad to a horrific car accident, but in the that time span the community has come together to support them and it’s only getting stronger.

Immigration law enforcement officials pulled Santos Hilario Garcia and his wife, Marcelina Garcia Perfecto, over on March 13. The undocumented couple attempted to flee ICE officials but lost control of their SUV. The vehicle hit a utility pole, and overturned. Officials pronounced them dead at the scene.

The community in Delano, California and people throughout the country have rallied together to help the six children, now orphans, have some kind of financial stability.

In just three days, a fundraiser set up for the six kids (ages 8 to 18) has surpassed its $40,000 goal.

The GoFundme page, set up by Linda Hinojosa, who works in social services in Delano, has quickly raised tens of thousands of dollars in less than a week. According to the fundraising site, the Garcia’s eldest daughter will raise her younger siblings along with her own 19-month old son.

Family and friends will bury Santos and Marcelina in their native Guerrero, Mexico. Their children, however, won’t be able to leave the U.S. and attend the funeral.

“Because of our broken immigration system, unfortunately the children will not be able to see their parents laid to rest,” Hinojosa writes on GoFundme. “This tragic loss has created tremendous hardship for the children, on top of the already traumatic experience of suddenly losing both parents. Your financial support is desperately needed to ensure this hardworking loving family is able to remain together and continue their life in Delano. Your support will help these children pay for rent, food and other basic necessities. Thank you for your generosity and compassion.”

United Farm Workers has also shown the support for the Garcia family.

UFW President Arturo Rodriguez speaks with family of 2 farm workers who died yesterday

Posted by UFW on Wednesday, March 14, 2018

UFW President Arturo Rodriguez has spoken out on behalf of the family soon after the accident took place. Both Santos and Marcelina worked in the agriculture and were on their way to work when ICE pulled them over.

“What is the reason for ICE stopping these people,” Leydy Rangel at UFW said to The Los Angeles Times. “Is it just because they matched the description, which is what, a brown, farm working family? We’re hoping to get a clearer sense of that. What’s the practice they’re using to detain random people?”

According to several news reports, ICE mistakenly took Santos as their prime suspect. That is why ICE officers attempted to detain him.


READ: This Yale Student Is Fighting To Free Her Dad From ICE Detainment

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This Migrant Mother Spent Three Years In Church Sanctuary But Now She’s Free

Things That Matter

This Migrant Mother Spent Three Years In Church Sanctuary But Now She’s Free

Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Lawyers are working hard to get a deportation order removed against a woman who just left a church sanctuary after three years in the refuge. Although she was previously denied asylum in the U.S., advocates are hoping that under new direction from the Biden administration, her case will be reviewed and she’ll be able to stay with her family in Ohio – where she’s lived for more than twenty years.

A mother of three is back with her family after living three years inside a church.

A mother of three who sought refugee inside an Ohio church from immigration authorities has finally been able to leave three years later. Edith Espinal, who herself is an immigrant rights advocate, had been living at the Columbus Mennonite Church since October 2017 to avoid being deported to Mexico. She’s now out of the church and back with her family following a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, who have agreed that she’s not an immediate priority for deportation.

“Finally, I can go home,” Espinal told reporters after meeting with the officials. With tears of relief, she celebrated the small victory in the presence of dozens of supporters who accompanied her to the ICE building.

“But it is not the end of her case. We’re still going to have to fight,” her attorney Lizbeth Mateo said.

ICE has agreed to hold off on her deportation proceedings pending her asylum request.

Espinal was released under an order of supervision, meaning that while she’s not considered an immediate priority for deportation, she must periodically check in with ICE officials to inform them about her whereabouts.

She has lived in Columbus for more than two decades and had previously applied for asylum, citing rising violence in her home state of Michoacán. But she eventually was ordered to leave the country, which is when she sought refuge inside the Columbus, Ohio church.

“We’re going to continue pressing the Biden administration to do the right thing, and try to get rid of that order of deportation against Edith, so she can walk freely like everyone else does without fear,” Mateo said during the press conference.

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The Rio Grande Claims Life Of An 8-Year-Old Boy As Migrants Risk Arctic Conditions To Cross Into U.S.

Things That Matter

The Rio Grande Claims Life Of An 8-Year-Old Boy As Migrants Risk Arctic Conditions To Cross Into U.S.

David Peinado/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Texas is seeing an unprecedented weather crisis as much of the state is plunged into bitterly cold conditions. But that hasn’t stopped many migrants and refugees from attempting to cross into the U.S. for protection.

Many migrants cross the Rio Grande (or Río Bravo en Mexico) between Texas and the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. Crossing the Rio Grande is always a dangerous undertaking but now, thanks to the freezing weather, it’s an especially perilous journey and it’s claimed the life of another child.

An 8-year-old boy has drowned while crossing the river with his family.

Authorities have reported that an 8-year-old Honduran boy has become the latest victim in a string of drownings at the Rio Grande, between the the U.S. and Mexico. Despite the unprecedented weather, migrants continue to attempt to cross the dangerous river to reach the U.S.

The child was with his family attempting to cross the river when he drowned on Wednesday, just as Texas was gripped by Arctic conditions which have killed more than 30 people and left millions in Mexico and Texas without power, water and food. The boy’s parents and sister apparently made it to the U.S., but were returned to Mexico by U.S. Border Patrol.

According to Mexican immigration officials, the boy “couldn’t withstand the pounding water, which covered him and kept him submerged for several meters”. His body was recovered but attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

The Rio Grande is notoriously dangerous for people attempting to cross the border.

The journey across the Rio Grande has always been a perilous one, with hundreds of people, many of whom could not swim, having drowned over the years after being caught by the deceptively deep waters and strong current.

Add in the current winter storm currently blanketing the entire state of Texas, has produced significant snow and prolonged freezing temperatures, has made the crossing even more dangerous.

In fact, earlier in the week, the river had claimed another victim. A woman from Venezuela died trying to cross the river in the same area after getting trapped in below-freezing currents. Three others suffered hypothermia: one was treated by the Red Cross in Mexico, while the other two made it the US border.

Drownings are just one of the dangers migrants face.

Apart from the potential for drownings, migrants face a wide range of dangerous while attempting to cross from Mexico into the U.S. In late January, 19 bodies were found shot and burned in a vehicle near the town of Camargo, also across the border from Texas.

There’s also the threat of violence from drug cartels and smugglers, corrupt officials, and other extreme elements, such as heat during the summer.

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